That is the most common word of my toddler’s vocabulary when she turned two. Now that she is going to be three next month, this is still a predominant word of her lingua franca. I think these lines can best describe a toddler.
The Toddler’s Creed
If it is on, I must turn it off.
If it is off, I must turn it on.
If it is folded, I must unfold it.
If it is a liquid, it must be shaken, then spilled.
If it a solid, it must be crumbled, chewed or smeared.
If it is high, it must be reached.
If it is shelved, it must be unshelved.
If it is pointed, it must be run with at top speed.
She was a picky eater and does not want to eat anything at all but drink milk all day. I was worried that she might suffer from malnutrition and iron deficiency. At the age of two when I weaned her from breast milk, she lost a considerable amount of weight. In this pic she is a year old but after that she looks much thinner.
I didn’t know what to do? I was at my wits ends. People around me keep showering me with their suggestions and experiences. I was also reading a lot of stuff on internet but nothing seemed to work.
It was then I noticed her involvement in my activities especially when I am busy cooking. It gave me an idea of getting her involved in cooking process. It helped a lot. Though it was not much but she started eating though not properly as we adults do but that was enough for me. I used to coax her to eat but I never pressured her nor did I get angry at her refusal from eating a certain food.
You can read about my struggle with my toddler about food in the following posts I published on the blog during the last year.
Then there are her playthings which used to scatter all around the place. It was okay at first and I didn’t mind cleaning up. But when I became pregnant second time,it became impossible for me to clean up due to lots of pregnancy related issues. I decided to teach her to clean up after she is done playing.
To do this I made cleaning a fun activity for her by making up a story about a bunny who cleans his room just before he gets to sleep. It worked and she started helping me clean up the mess. When it became a daily routine, I removed myself from the activity and let her do it by herself.
Then came her interest in brushing her teeth. She used to watch me and his father brush their teeth daily so she wanted to do it too. It was a good thing and I was happy that I didn’t have to coax her to do it. But life is not that easy as you sometimes think it is. She suddenly doesn’t like to brush her teeth.
She likes to watch youtube videos, so I used it in my favor. I showed her some youtube videos with toddlers brushing their teeth and everything got back to where it was in the beginning.
Fun Activities for Toddlers
Toddlers cannot sit still for a moment and mine is no different. Though there are toys for her to play with and lots of people around to entertain her, she wants to play with my laptop too. At first she used to watch me sitting in my lap while I’m typing a post for the blog. Then she wanted to play with the keyboard. So I searched for online games for toddlers and compiled a list of websites that provide such activities. Then I wrote a post about it and published it on my blog to help other parents/mothers like me.
Other than online activities, there are websites to help parents keep a supply of activities to keep their toddlers entertained for hours. You can read my blog post on this topic here.
As a mom who spent half her day on internet I found youtube quite helpful as an entertaining and educational resource. There are websites that help you read stories and read nursery rhymes.
Through this post you can see a glimpse of my life with my toddler. She has been an inspiration behind most of the posts written on this blog. With her I have learned a lot. I have learned that
- You should respect the toddler’s newly found independence.
- You should learn the small signs she is sending to you as at this stage a toddler cannot communicate the way we adults do. Though it may seem she is intelligent enough to understand your message, there are still concepts she is confused about.
- You should give her time.
- Try to be patient and if you think you already are(like I used to think :)) then think again.
- Make her realize how much you love her.
- Try to stay calm. (I know It is very hard)
- Be persistent.
- Don’t put pressure on your child just because other children of her age seem much smarter than your child. Due to individual differences there are different levels of learning and development for each child.
There are so many things that can be written on this topic but I want you to add what I have left out. Please share your thoughts and feedback through comments.